Noverre Delivers Another 2000 Guineas Triumph for Te Akau

8 November 2021

Noverre (NZ) stormed home to win the $500,000 Group One Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis has bought a long line of outstanding yearlings from Karaka over the years, and those quality purchases have delivered racetrack results to match – including two decades of supremacy in the $500,000 Group One Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Saturday brought another chapter in that remarkable story as Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel), who Ellis bought for $800,000 at Karaka 2020, became the seventh horse since 2003 to carry the Te Akau tangerine to victory in the prestigious Riccarton classic.

Six of those Guineas winners were bought at Karaka as yearlings. The first member of that esteemed group is multiple Group One winner and sire King’s Chapel (King Of Kings), who Ellis secured for just $35,000 at the 2002 Premier Sale. He was followed two years later by the superb Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill), who Ellis paid $1.1 million to buy from the 2004 Premier Sale.

The 2011 winner was another million-dollar Karaka yearling, Rock ‘N’ Pop (Fastnet Rock), while the $375,000 purchase Xtravagant (NZ) (Pentire) blitzed the field by a record-breaking eight and a half lengths in 2015.

Ellis paid $775,000 at the 2016 Premier Sale for Embellish (NZ), who became the first son of champion sire Savabeel to win the New Zealand 2000 Guineas in 2017, and now Noverre has followed suit in breathtaking style.

Ridden by Opie Bosson for Te Akau’s champion trainer Jamie Richards, Noverre came into the race on the back of an exceptional come-from-behind win in the Group Three War Decree Stakes (1600m) over the same course and distance last month.

But his 2000 Guineas victory was even more impressive. The striking brown colt settled in the back half of the talent-filled field and was squeezed back to last behind a wall of horses coming up to the home turn.

Bosson found a way out into clear air down the outside of the track, and Noverre began to rapidly gather momentum. With impressive acceleration and giant strides, he charged home over the top of Meritable (Snitzel) and powered clear to win by two and three-quarter lengths.

“I was a little bit worried across the top when horses were going everywhere and I was trying to find something to track into the race,” Bosson said. “They all came rolling back in and I had to get over their heels. But, wow, what a powerful finish. He’s a very classy animal.”

Noverre has now had seven starts for three wins, three placings and $355,150 in stakes for the Te Akau 2020 Stallion Breeding Syndicate.

“He was really explosive when he got clear today and looks a pretty special colt,” Richards said. “He was a beautiful yearling when Dave (Ellis) bought him. He paid a bit of money, but he had the pedigree and the looks. He was a little bit backward as a two-year-old and needed time to strengthen up, but the team has done a really good job, and his improvement throughout the spring has been very encouraging.

“We’ll look at the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) in January now and see where we end up after that. He’s a really exciting colt and it will be interesting to see where he stands.”

Ellis took special satisfaction from Saturday’s stellar performance.

“It’s such a great feeling to see people invest in a colt like this and get to experience the thrill of winning such a prestigious Group One race,” he said. “They’ve backed me at the sales and we cannot do this without them.

“It’s quite incredible the success we’ve had buying horses from Waikato Stud, and the support that Garry and Mark Chittick have given us. What great breeders they are, and the way that Jamie trains these Savabeels is quite incredible. It’s a great combination.”

The first foal out of Group Three-winning mare Magic Dancer (Rip Van Winkle), Noverre was bred and sold by Waikato Stud, who have remained involved with a share of the ownership.

Now that the exciting colt has become the 25th individual Group One winner for Savabeel, Noverre could potentially stand alongside his sire as a member of Waikato Stud’s star-studded stallion roster at the completion of his racing career.

“It was an amazing performance,” Garry Chittick said. “I’m really excited to have kept ownership in Noverre. Right from the word go, I wanted to stay in the colt and didn’t actually want to sell him. But good on DC (David Ellis) for buying him, and I’m lucky to have my share.

“He was an outstanding yearling colt and you couldn’t fault him, really. He’s extremely well balanced and just a stunning horse. He had everything, and he’s grown more than I thought he would. He’s everything you’d want in a horse.

“We hope that one day he could finish up back here at Waikato Stud, it would be fantastic.”

Overall, Karaka graduates have won 11 of the last 13 runnings of the New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Vendor Waikato Stud
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Magic Dancer
Sale Lot 79, Karaka 2020 Book 1, $800,000
Bred by Chittick Investments